Copulation frequency and pattern of hemipenis use in males of the lizard Anolis sagrei in a semi-natural enclosure

Richard R. Tokarz, Sean J. Kirkpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous laboratory studies of the lizard Anolis sagrei have suggested that the alternating pattern of hemipenis use in males may serve to increase sperm transfer if a male copulates at least once a day. In this study, the copulation frequency and pattern of hemipenis use of males housed individually in a seminatural enclosure with different numbers of females was monitored. Behavioural observations began 4 days after the animals were placed into the enclosure. In the first experiment, males were housed individually with three females and were observed during the 12-h light phase for each of 3 consecutive days. In a second experiment, males were housed individually with either one or six females and were observed during the 12-h light phase of 1 day. Males housed with three females copulated at least twice a day for each of the 3 observation days and showed a highly significant alternating pattern of hemipenis use. Males housed with a single female copulated less frequently than did males that were housed with three or six females. These results suggest that male A. sagrei in the field may copulate with a sufficient frequency to make alternation of hemipenis use of adaptive value in terms of sperm transfer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1039-1044
Number of pages6
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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